Cougar Encounters in Maine

Cougar Encounters in Maine

Editor’s note: There are a variety of names that connote the same animal: mountain lion, cougar, panther, puma and catamount.

Tiff Shuttlesworth, Brewer

“In November of 2019 I saw, unmistakably, a cougar walking along the wooded edge of my back yard early one morning. (I have 8 acres surrounded by large woods) We commonly have dozens of turkeys on our property and perhaps the cougar had become aware of this food source. I saw it from an upstairs window, ran down stairs to grab my binoculars that I keep available. After being 100% certain, I handed the binoculars to my wife and said tell me what you see. She has seen bobcats on our property before. Her exact remarks: that’s not a bobcat is it? Bobcats don’t have real long tails and a face like a lion? Have not seen one in the 25+ years I’ve lived there, but I have seen one now. It was light brown and I’d guess 5-7 feet in length, including the tail and maybe 75-100 lbs? Slender muscular body with an unmistakable broad head.”

Herbert Irish, Fairfield

“Three years ago my wife and I were driving the road into s Nesourdnahunk Lake in the fall and saw a cougar and a cub cross the road in front of us at about 50 yards. It was a bright sunny day about 10 a.m. I have seen enough mountain lions at zoos to know what I was seeing. My wife saw the same thing. It had a long tail, and came toward us on the rod and then lopped off into the woods.”

Ed Harris, veteran guide from Winn Maine, former owner of Harry’s Camps in Molunkus

“Five years ago on a sunny fall day I was driving on a secondary highway off from Rt# 2 near Haynseville with two hunters in his vehicle. Suddenly, after cresting a hill, there was a mountain lion in the middle of the road at about 80 yards. Big cat that looked to weigh about 120 lbs. Had a three foot tail and sleek body. Stood in the road for about 15 seconds and than walked into the woods. Following behind the big cat was another, about half its size.”

Gifford Stevens, Bradley

“I was camping at Long Lake in northern Maine. Stepping from my tent in the morning, there was a mountain lion looking back at me at about 30 yards. It had a long tail. There was no question: it was a mountain lion.”

Toby Stone

“I recently saw a cougar on the KI road.  My wife and I started at the KI checkpoint and wetre headed to Greenville.  About one mile, maybe less, from Hedgehog checkpoint we saw a cougar enter the road about 50 yards ahead of us.  I was driving slow, due to the rough road conditions. It sauntered its way in a long directional line away from us to the other side. It was not in a hurry so we had plenty of time to know what we were seeing.  Its tail not only dropped to the ground, but was long enough to curl back up at the end.  No doubt for either of us that this cat was a cougar or mountain lion. This was last Sunday, May 17.”

Dale Dee, Caribou

It was a sunny day in October of 2017. I was driving and bird hunting with a friend on the Barney Brook Rd, about four miles from Portage. A large cat with a long tail was crossing the road at about 80 yards. The sun was behind us. It stopped,. The animal looked at us and then crossed to the other side of the road and disappeared into the woods. We stopped to look at its tracks and it appeared that it was tracking a deer, which had also left fresh tracks.

Kay Sue and E. Duncan Geikie, Falmouth

Three years ago late in the afternoon the Geikies were leaving their cottage at Branch Lake heading west on the Ellsworth Happytown Road. At the junction of the Happytown and Rocky Pond Road they were astonished to spot a large, tawny-colored cat with a long tail on the edge of the woods by an open field. “I know what I saw,” says Mr. Geikie, “ it was no pussy cat. It was a mountain lion about 70 yards from our car. I did a double take and could hardly believe what I was seeing. The large animal was batting something around with its paws, sort of playing with a small animal the way a house cat plays with a mouse. We watched it for what seemed like a long time. It paid no attention to us. We finally drove away and it was still there when we left,” recall the Geikies.

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